The Moral Arc: How Science Makes Us Better People

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Henry Holt and Company, Jan 20, 2015 - Science - 560 pages
3 Reviews

Bestselling author Michael Shermer's exploration of science and morality that demonstrates how the scientific way of thinking has made people, and society as a whole, more moral

From Galileo and Newton to Thomas Hobbes and Martin Luther King, Jr., thinkers throughout history have consciously employed scientific techniques to better understand the non-physical world. The Age of Reason and the Enlightenment led theorists to apply scientific reasoning to the non-scientific disciplines of politics, economics, and moral philosophy. Instead of relying on the woodcuts of dissected bodies in old medical texts, physicians opened bodies themselves to see what was there; instead of divining truth through the authority of an ancient holy book or philosophical treatise, people began to explore the book of nature for themselves through travel and exploration; instead of the supernatural belief in the divine right of kings, people employed a natural belief in the right of democracy.
In The Moral Arc, Shermer will explain how abstract reasoning, rationality, empiricism, skepticism--scientific ways of thinking--have profoundly changed the way we perceive morality and, indeed, move us ever closer to a more just world.


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User Review  - ehines - LibraryThing

I am a Michael Shermer fan. I don't always agree with him, but I generally find him a judicious and enlightening writer on scientific and philosophical issues. The Moral Arc, though, was something of ... Read full review

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User Review  - DarthBrazen - LibraryThing

I found this book to be exemplary in it's presentation, depth of knowledge and concern for humanity. Many of the arguments i've already come across, but when Shermer couples them with actual data from ... Read full review


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About the author (2015)

Michael Shermer is the author of Why People Believe Weird Things, The Believing Brain, and eight other books on the evolution of human beliefs and behavior. He is the founding publisher of Skeptic magazine, the editor of, a monthly columnist for Scientific American, and an adjunct professor at Claremont Graduate University. He lives in Southern California.

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